TACKLING TECH: 2 Steps to Use Your iPAD in Teletherapy
Updated: Mar 25, 2021
When you make a transition from in-person therapy to teletherapy, your iPAD doesn’t have to go to the back burner. Tackling Tech: 2 Steps to use your iPAD in Teletherapy. It's really that simple, especially if you're using Zoom.
It’s true - your students won’t be able to physically manipulate the shared iPAD screen themselves. Still, I’ve often found that while students are aware of the physical barrier of interacting with your shared iPAD, it rarely dampens their desire to “play.” They absolutely enjoy getting to direct the teacher! In this way, you further empower their oral language skills and keep them engaged in your activities. Another HUGE benefit of being able to share an iPAD screen in teletherapy is when you are working with a student who uses an iPAD as their AAC device!
So, how do you share your iPAD screen? I’m so glad you asked…look out for the Zoom hacks if you've got Zoom!
STEP 1: SCREEN-MIRRORING
First, you’ll need to mirror your device screen to your computer using some free or relatively low cost software. Screen-mirroring allows you to project (mirror) the screen from your iPAD, iPHONE, etc, to your computer (or TV monitor). Because screen-mirroring requires software to be running simultaneously on your iPAD and computer, it’s important to ask the following questions:
What operating system is my iPAD using (i.e., Apple or PC/Android)?
What operating system is my computer using (i.e., Apple or PC/Android)?
Zoom HACK: If you're using Zoom as your virtual platform, for this stage, all you have to do is join your current meeting from your iPAD.
With any software - free or purchased - you’ll need to check the compatibility of the software across operating systems. If you’re hesitant to purchase any software outright, know that almost all of the software for purchase has a free trial period available.
Here is a list of a few screen-mirroring apps that are compatible across operating systems:
APowerMirror - FREE download for individual use
AirSquirrels Reflector 3 - FREE 7 day trial, Purchase @ $14.99
Mirroring360 - FREE 7 day trial, Purchase @ $11.99
Lonely Screen - FREE limited trial, Purchase @ $14.95/year
I love APowerMirror because a) it's free and b) it's intuitive. However, there are some fancy features of these apps that have all sorts of potential benefits for teletherapy use. If you're using a Windows PC, APowerMirror allows you to control your iPAD through mouse clicks on your computer! APowerMirror, Mirroring360 & Reflector 3 have options to screen-record and take screen-shots of your iPAD. Mirroring360 has a feature that would allow you and a student to share iPAD screens via web address, bypassing the virtual platform if needed. Each of the apps has its own way of actually mirroring your device’s screen and gives pretty simple to follow walk-throughs on the first go-round.
Here’s an example of how to mirror using APowerMirrror:
Download the mirroring app on both you computer and personal device (Lonely Screen, Reflector 3, & Mirroring360 does not require a download on your iPAD)
Open the mirroring app on your computer
Open the app (i.e., iBOOKS with a NO PRINT activity like this one) you want to share with students on your device
From your pull-down menu, select “Screen-Mirroring”
Choose APowerSoft to project the iPAD screen to your computer
(NOTE: You could also use a document camera. I'm focusing on a screen-mirror procedure here, but if you’d like to read a little more about using a document camera, check out this blog from another teletherapist.)
STEP 2: SCREEN-SHARING
Next, you'll want to share your iPAD's screen with your students in the virtual platform. This next step can be a bit of a challenge because a) how you share your mirrored device screen depends on the tele-platform you use as well as personal preference and b) your preferred method of sharing with students may not “see” the mirroring software. Things to think about:
Will I be “application-sharing” with students (i.e., students would only see the mirrored iPAD screen)?
Will I be “screen-sharing” with students (i.e., students would see your entire computer screen)?
Will I want to use both?
APowerMirror and Mirroring360 are both recognizable on the platform I use as an application to share with students. However, Reflector 3 is not! Thus, if I wanted to use Reflector 3 to mirror my iPAD, I would then have to share my entire computer screen with students in order for them to view my iPAD’s screen. Not something I generally like to do!!
Zoom HACK: After you've joined your current Zoom meeting, simply click "share screen" to share your iPAD's screen during the meeting.
Here’s an example of how to share your mirrored iPAD screen:
Open a classroom on your virtual platform
Select “Application Sharing” (as you normally would)
Select the mirrored device screen to share in your virtual classroom
Voila! Control the activity directly from your iPAD
I know that was a lot of words describing an abstract technological process. Are you still with me? If not, you may find watching a couple YouTube videos to be helpful. Click here for a Youtube on mirroring using Reflector 3. If so, I hope that your therapy sessions take on a whole new level of tech!
Have something to add or ask? Comment below and let's start a conversation!
-Angela C. Hancock, MSP, CCC-SLP
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